Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic, topped with tomato-corn salsa. This vegan tomato soup is easy to make and will become a year-round favorite.
Why You'll Love this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
There is no better destination for peak summer tomatoes than this fresh tomato soup. It's incredibly bright, bursting with umami goodness, and luxuriously rich. It's also higher in protein and fiber than most tomato soup recipes thanks to one secret ingredient: silken tofu!
Now before I lose you, let me explain why silken tofu is a game-changing creamy soup ingredient. Firstly, it adds top-notch creaminess without having to add heavy cream or half-and-half. Secondly, it's a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber, which makes the soup far more satiating. It's also a fabulous source of bone-building calcium.
And trust me, you cannot taste any essence of soy. The blind taster will never know it's there!
This vegan tomato soup comes together in roughly 30 minutes, so you whip it up anytime you need a wholesome, satisfying meal.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
A few ingredients give this tomato basil soup layers of complexity that make it taste like you spent hours preparing it, instead of minutes.
- Tomatoes: This soup leans on FRESH tomatoes, which add bright, sweet flavor. You can use any variety you like or have on hand. I love using a mix of heirlooms, plum, and even cherry tomatoes.
- Onion: You need one whole sweet onion, which amounts to roughly 2 cups of chopped onion. You can also use yellow onion or shallots here.
- Garlic: I like my tomato soup extra garlicky, so I use at least 4 cloves of garlic. However much garlic you prefer, just make sure it's fresh and not dried.
- Spices: One surprise ingredient in this soup is dried fennel seed, which lends anise flavor and warm, sweet aroma. I also like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.
- Tofu: You need one package of SILKEN tofu for this recipe. Firm or super-firm tofu will not blend into the quintessential silky texture that we're after here.
- Basil: Fresh basil blends right into the soup to infuse every bite with peppery, aromatic goodness.
- Corn: For the tomato-corn salsa topping, you can use fresh, canned, or frozen corn kernels.
- Vinegar: Red wine vinegar invigorates the salsa with bright top notes. Alternatively, you can use white wine vinegar, white balsamic, or rice vinegar.
Step 1: Sauté Aromatics
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions; cook 6 to 7 minutes, until soft. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, fennel seeds, and chili flakes; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the tomato paste to caramelize.
Step 2: Simmer Tomatoes
Add tomatoes and salt; stir to combine. Simmer tomatoes 8 to 10 minutes, until they start to break down and become jammy and juicy.
Step 3: Blend Soup
Transfer tomato mixture to a high power blender. Add silken tofu, ½ cup fresh basil leaves, and ½ cup water. Blend on HIGH speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. With blender running, slowly stream in remaining ¼ cup olive oil.
(Note: If your blender is not large enough to hold the full batch of soup, blend the tomato mixture in two separate batches.)
Step 4: Prepare Tomato-Corn Salsa
Combine 1 cup cherry tomatoes, ¾ cup corn, and remaining ¼ cup basil in a medium bowl. Stir in red wine vinegar, remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
Step 5: Serve Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Ladle soup into 5 bowls, and spoon tomato-corn salsa overtop. Finish each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and cracked black pepper.
- Tomato Soup with Canned Tomatoes: During months when tomatoes aren't at their prime, you can absolutely use canned tomatoes for this recipe. In lieu of fresh, you need 1 (28-oz.) can of whole, peeled tomatoes.
- Tomato and Red Pepper Soup: For a zestier tomato soup that tastes similar to Romesco sauce, scale the fresh tomatoes down to 1 lb., and add 1 (16-oz.) jar of roasted red peppers.
- Spicy Tomato Soup: Add 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes to the soup, or 1 to 2 Tbsp. of spicy harissa paste.
What to Serve with Tomato Basil Soup
- Wedge Salad: I love serving this hearty soup with a fresh, crunchy salad. For example, this Wedge Salad with Avocado Ranch.
- Cucumber Salad: Especially during the summer months, you cant beat this refreshing Cucumber-Sesame Salad with Garlic-Chili Oil.
- Panzanella Salad: This Tuscan-style tomato bread salad is perfect for summer entertaining.
- Pasta Salad: You can't go wrong with this Pesto Tortellini Salad, which makes delicious use of a bounty of fresh basil. Alternatively, my reader favorite Healthy Creamy Pasta Salad is always a hit!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm soup in a medium sauce pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until hot. Or, rewarm gently in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds.
- To Freeze. Freeze tomato soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
If you give this vegan tomato soup a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup
- Large Stock Pot or Dutch Oven
- 3 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 4 oz. (~½ cup) tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (¼ tsp. for mild heat; ½ tsp. for medium heat)
- 2 lbs. fresh heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 (16-oz.) pkg. silken tofu, drained
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- Cracked black pepper for garnish
Zesty Tomato-Corn Salsa
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ¾ cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 cob) (sub frozen/thawed or canned corn)
- ¼ cup chopped basil leaves
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions; cook 6 to 7 minutes, until soft. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, fennel seeds, and chili flakes; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste turns brick-red and begins to caramelize.
- Add tomatoes and salt; stir to combine. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes, until tomatoes start to break down and release their juices.
- Carefully transfer tomato mixture to a high power blender. Add silken tofu, ½ cup fresh basil leaves, and ½ cup water. Blend on HIGH speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. With blender running, slowly stream in remaining ¼ cup olive oil. (Note: If your blender is not large enough to hold the full batch of soup, blend the tomato mixture in two separate batches.)Pour blended soup back into pot and reduce heat to low.
- Prepare Zesty Tomato-Corn Salsa by combining cherry tomatoes, corn, and ¼ cup chopped basil in a medium bowl. Stir in red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
- Ladle soup into 5 bowls, and spoon salsa overtop. Finish each bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil and cracked black pepper.